Easter Feast and Fun 2 – Desserts!

April 9th, 2011  |  Cakes & Cupcakes, Cookies, Drinks, Fruit, Occasions, Sweets  |  11 Comments

Hummingbird Cake

When I think of my great-grandmother, Ma-Maw, I have fond memories of Sunday afternoons sitting on her back porch eating watermelon, snickerdoodles and watching for hummingbirds in the little hummingbird feeders that surrounded her home.  While I can’t remember ever tasting her Hummingbird Cake, when I came upon her old handwritten recipe, I couldn’t resist trying to make it….after all, it had all of my favorite ingredients and for a few moments took me back to my childhood.  Ma-maw’s recipe called for 1 ½ cups of vegetable oil and a teaspoon of butter flavoring.  Something about all that oil and imitation butter flavoring bothered me, so I used a combination of real butter, applesauce and vegetable oil and now I feel better about it.  This cake is so delicious that in the three months since I came across the recipe I have made it five times!  Her recipe suggested using a bundt pan, but I have made it into cupcakes and now this decadent two-layer.


  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 20oz can crushed canned pineapple, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
  • 1 cup finely shredded coconut, lightly toasted


Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until well incorporated.

Generously butter and flour 2 8” cake pans.  I like to use parchment paper on the bottom of my cake pans to insure the cakes will pop right out of the pan.  Convection Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes if you are using 8” cake pans.  For bundt cakes, about 50-55 minutes.  For cupcakes, about 22-24 minutes.  Let cakes cool to room temperature on a wire rack before icing.

Once cooled, if your cakes look to be uneven, use a large serrated knife, or cake level, to even them out so you have a flat surface, and your layers will lay together nicely.  This will ensure a beautiful, level cake.

When icing a double layer cake, you should use approximately 1/3 of your icing as the filling.  I always try to add a little extra toward the edges so that it is easier to ice the rest of the cake once the top layer is added.  Once you have the cake completely iced, if desired, decorate with lightly toasted coconut.  I sprinkled it along the sides and then used a cookie cutter in the shape of a butterfly to add a little extra to the top of the cake.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing


  • 1 8oz container cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon


Beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well before adding the next cup.  Add vanilla and cinnamon and mix well.  Ice cake!

Oatmeal Pecan Cookies with Meyer Lemon Glaze

There’s a fabulous little restaurant nestled in the heart of Corona del Mar that has the most delicious cookie I’ve ever tasted…a pecan shortbread cookie with a tart lemon glaze.  The only problem with the place is that there is never any parking (the food is so delicious that the place is always packed) and it is such a hassle to park and walk with two little munchkins that won’t dare be still while we stand in line for mommy to get a LEMON cookie!   I’ve often thought about getting a job at this place just to find out the recipe, but since my husband says that’s not an option, I had to come up with my own version…and let’s just say I’m very very pleased.   The cookies are delicious without the glaze if you, like my children, don’t like LEMON.


  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal (I prefer old-fashioned, but quick-cooking will work as well)
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
  • ½ cup shredded coconut, lightly toasted


In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light, fluffy and pale yellow in color.  Add vanilla, mix well.  Add flour and oatmeal until well incorporated; then add pecans and coconut, mixing well.  Place cookies on cookie sheet by the teaspoonful about 2 inches apart.

Convection bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, until cookies are just slightly golden along the edges.

If your oven does not have convection bake, bake at 350 degrees for about 13 minutes.  Let cookies cool on wire racks.  Drizzle with Meyer Lemon Glaze and be careful, they’re likely to cause an addiction.

Meyer Lemon Glaze


  • 1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon, Meyer lemon zest


Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Drizzle onto cookies.

Blood Orange & Mint Mimosas

For whatever reason when I think of brunch, I think immediately of mimosas.  Since blood oranges are in season right now, I thought I'd try muddling them with some fresh mint before topping off with champagne.  The drinks made such a pretty color on top of tasting fantastic!


  • 8-10 organic blood oranges
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • Champagne


Juice oranges and muddle with fresh mint.  Fill champagne glass about 1/3 full of blood orange mint juice and top off with champagne.  Cheers!

11 thoughts on “Easter Feast and Fun 2 – Desserts!

  1. Hello,

    In the recipe for the Oatmeal Pecan Cookies, should we use quick oats or old fashioned oats, or will either do?


  2. Wanted to print out only some of your recipes so I highlighted selection, but didn’t know it high lighted way above where I stopped so I wasted lots of paper.
    Couldn’t you make it so each recipe was on a different page.


    • To print the cake recipe without waste, do a print preview of the first two pages, adjust the setting (i.e. shrink to fit page, 70%,60%, etc) to get the text on two pages and then proceed with printing. I found 50% fits onto two sheets.

    • Hi Melody,
      Yes, use the same temperature on the oven, but you will need to add 2-3 minutes cooking time. Let me know how you like the cookies!

  3. Hi-
    I’d like to make the cake recipe for Easter, but am trying to do most of my prep the day before. Would you suggest I frost the cake and refrigerate it overnight, then put the coconut on the next day before serving?

    • Hi Ruth,
      You can certainly make and frost the cake the day before and refrigerate. I’m actually making my cake today and putting it in the freezer until Sunday morning. I’ll frost it and add the coconut then.
      Good luck! If you can, take a photograph of your cake and send it to me….I’d love to put it up on the site!

  4. I made the cookies twice and have had rave reviews. Today I just came from my granddaughter’s First Communion and they were a BIG hit everyone wanted the receipe. We LOVE these so simple cookies.
    Thank you. Amy.

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